Saturday, September 6, 2014

Product idea 3: What next for

Without quoting numbers here, lets me being first by showcasing some observations.

Smart phones are on the rise.
So is cloud computing.
Lower segment phones with comparatively lower in built memory but additional service to store data in a cloud account is the 'new in thing'.
Not only does a brand get to capture user data, it now helps services like Google, Hotmail or Yahoo really find out who you are, how active you are and what your interests are more  actively.

Hey, it doesn't end there, mobile operators also accumulate your data, are you a smart phone or a feature phone user? How much bandwidth you consume, where you consume it, fortunately enough; i cant really comment much on coordinated efforts between the mobile company, mobile operators and mobile platform builders. And thank god to that! Or thank god at least for now.

With players like e-commerce giant Flipkart launching its very own Mp3 buy and download app and Times Internet investing and creating its very own music streaming platform, one can safely assume that two things:

1. People are quickly adapting to 'technology on the go'.
2. We're consuming and growing more and more dependent on the internet services than our phone capabilities.

Which brings me to my subject of the next evolution of

Hey, personally i love that app. A bit annoying at times when you are looking for certain songs and they haven't managed to procure the licenses for hosting and playing the same. But the buffering speed? Phenomenal. (yes i use a Nexus and I'd rather use my storage space to download something else, even if it means in app songs download to listen on the go. Cause du-hu. Stop defeating my purpose of using you in the first place.)

At this point thanks to non song availability i would like to talk about another app i am heavily dependent on; YouTube. Yes I don't mind the usage of data for buffering an entire video when its the song I'm really interested in. (i don't get why they cant just make that version of the existing app, i really really would like the segregation. Especially since its one of the largest co-created depositories for music as well.)

Now when it comes to good Internet connections, which we have plenty of today, with network reach and towers even in the remotest corners of the city, state and country, combine with my heavy mobile consumption habits, especially in regards to Music, it brings me to sincerely acknowledge one last type of app. Yes if you've guessed it by now, you've guessed correctly - SoundHound or Shazam's of the world. Ok frankly they are the only two i know. Hehe.

But arguably, my life depended on all three of these apps! What binds them is Internet usage. And mediums being available in app formats across all mobile platforms. All smart phone mobile platforms anyway.

But i don't get why, just why we aren't seeing a collaborative amongst a music streaming and music discovery platform. Or at least a realistically EASY one?

Sound hound pairs up with YouTube and Google particularly to throw back simultaneous search results for other versions of a song you find on the go as well as the the option of looking up the lyrics using the in app browser. (not even going to discuss its e-commerce platform integration at the moment which allows users to buy and download songs they like on the go)

Gaana and Youtube independently as apps on the other hand give you the ability to bookmark favorite tracks as well as sort them in various play lists. Preferably customized by longtail searches.. Ok well Gaana does an additional piece of creating playlists for its users of popular songs and genres of music to smoothen out the hassle of having to go to a platform and looking for what you want to listen to -- in turn reducing app consumption. And also at the same time building user habit of mindlessly just playing one of the playlists and slightly disfiguring ones own music preference.

But heck, its convenient.

While users may flirt constantly with the idea of downloading a Savan, Gaana, Hungama Music app or plain YouTube.

One thing they always keep on their phone and preferably on the first screen of their phone is either a Shazam or a SoundHound. (as per personal learning, Shazam is better for Hindi songs while SoundHound is better for English)

I firstly feel that - being on the first screen should be the new bench mark for apps. Being able to be as important to users, which in turn of course already means better recall and higher consumption. (which also means - why are people making so many bad apps to begin with? Those that don't only not make it to the last scroll of a users phone but hardly ever get downloaded at all either)

OK OK. to my final take already.

Gaana should look at capturing 'long tail' music searches, based on specific user interest, based searches by integrating or collaborating with a partner like Shazam or SoundHound.

Further to this as soon as a person has identified a song he/she likes (assumably on the go), they should have the option of adding it to their playlists (instantly). This gives Gaana an all rounded approach of actively engaging its users and aiming for the first screen placement on mobile phones.

Further to adding to designated play lists they should collaborate with a music streaming engine like YouTube if they cannot license all the songs to their banner. This solves the classic problem faced by SoundHound and Shazam at a certain level where users tend to use them as music finders ONLY. (and who the heck is purchasing songs off them anyway? Their financial model should solely be revolving around new innovation integration and thinking in the direction like they did for the end title track for the Superman movie earlier this year.. Or was it last?)

All in all, this should be an extension app to the classic Gaana app. Preferably a 'Mobile Only' version to being with. Since there are always music adopters and music evangelists. Same goes for people who are new technology adopters and evangelists. If this is not possible, the same should be integrated to the first screen and then on second scroll the playlists should appear. Hence pushing down the current layout by 1 screen for all scrolls.

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